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The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the department) has recently become aware that dogs and cats have been imported to Australia from Malaysia without having met the relevant import conditions. As a result, the department is concerned that the potentially serious biosecurity risks associated with the importation of dogs and cats from Malaysia are unacceptable and do not meet Australia’s Appropriate Level of Protection, defined under section 5 of the Biosecurity Act 2015 as a high level of sanitary and phytosanitary protection aimed at reducing biosecurity risks to a very low level, but not to zero. To reliably address the biosecurity risks in the absence of further information, the department has temporarily suspended imports of cats and dogs from Malaysia effective from 5 February 2020.

The suspension will affect current import permit holders who have not yet imported their animal to Australia, and individuals (or their agents) who have submitted an application for an import permit listing Malaysia as the country of export. During the suspension, any import preparations already completed in Malaysia (blood tests, vaccinations, parasite treatments) will not be accepted.

The suspension does not affect cats and dogs from other countries transiting Kuala Lumpur International Airport en route to Australia. That movement pathway can continue in accordance with the current procedures.

An investigation into this matter is currently ongoing; at this time the department is unable to advise as to when the matter will be resolved. The department is actively working with the relevant Malaysian authorities.

The department recognises that this will cause some distress and inconvenience to individuals; this decision was not made lightly and was based on assessment of all the relevant biosecurity risks. The department was required to act immediately in the interest of maintaining Australia’s favourable biosecurity status. Given the severity of the potential biosecurity risks, the department is unable to consider circumstances applying to individual animals or owners.

We encourage prospective importers to check our website regularly for up to date information as import conditions can and do change without notice. Kind Regards, Sarah Neilson Assistant Director | Live Animal Imports - Zoo, Aquatics, Laboratory and Companion Animals Animal and Biological Imports Branch | Animal Division Phone: 1800 900 090 (+61 3 8318 6700 from outside Australia) Please note that I work Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment 10 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra ACT 2601 Australia GPO Box 858, Canberra ACT 2601 Australia e-mail: | Website: awe.gov.au

Privacy notice under the Biosecurity Act Personal information means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable. Personal information that is collected under or in accordance with the Biosecurity Act 2015 is also protected information under the Biosecurity Act.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources collects protected information including personal and sensitive information in relation to this email under the Biosecurity Act 2015 for the purposes of dealing with an application to bring or import goods to Australia and related purposes. If you fail to provide some or all of the relevant personal information requested in this email the department may be unable to grant an import permit or related approvals. Protected information collected by the department will only be used or disclosed as authorised under the Biosecurity Act.

The department may disclose protected information to other Australian persons or organisations. In every case it will only be disclosed if authorised by the Biosecurity Act.

See our Privacy Policy to learn more about accessing or correcting personal information or making a complaint. Alternatively, telephone the department on 1800 900 090 (+61 3 8318 6700 from outside Australia).

Providing false or misleading information There are a range of criminal and civil offence and penalty provisions within the Criminal Code Act 1995 and the Biosecurity Act 2015 for providing false or misleading information. Apart from the application of fines and terms of imprisonment, the provision of false or misleading information may lead to the suspension, refusal or revocation of import permits and or Approved Arrangements under the Biosecurity Act 2015 and or other portfolio legislation.

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